• 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Overhyped but not bad

    • Written by from Berkeley

    Like most shiny new tech things this really only delivers about 70% of what's promised out of the box. The bulbs themselves are great; solid construction, nice range of colors, decent illumination. But the software is just awful; non-intuitive, timers are available ONLY on picking colors from pictures, etc. Further, the system requires a restart of your device after adding new bulbs, and often they still don't respond. Definitely a first gen software clunker.

    5 of 7 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Bulbs are awesome, brightness is not

    • Written by from SPOKANE

    Just like the title says, the bulbs are great. Adjusting the colors, brightness, on, off, timer, all from an iPhone app is neat and the variety gives you many many different lighting options at the touch of a finger. Hopefully the app is refined to be a bit more functional and less fun (I'd like a basic control that just lets me adjust light and color, rather then the scene or mood selections the app uses).

    The brightness of the bulbs is a big let down. I have an air purifier that has a light sensor on it (when the lights are on, it knows I'm awake and runs normally, when the lights are off, it runs in quiet mode). I used to light my living room with a chandelier powered by a single fluorescent light bulb, and that was more then enough for the whole room. I replaced that with TWO Philips hue bulbs, and even with two bulbs AND an additional lamp, its still not enough light to wake up the air purifier in the same room.

    So the product gets 3 stars for a nice start, I look forward to improvements in the app and to brighter light bulbs (even having made the initial investment, I'll be first in line to purchase better bulbs when they're offered).

    5 of 7 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Good, but needed a new wi-fi router!!

    • Written by from Philadelphia

    Got to start by saying you need a wi-fi router with an EXTRA ethernet/lan port. I have been using the plug in the wall Airport Express for the past 2 years and figured I was all set to use this product out of the box. Yes, the requirements do state a wi-fi router, but it makes no mention to needed a free/empty port. Seen as my router was Apple, i thought i was in good hands. More fool me... Im now down over $300 before even getting the lights to work.

    Lights do work well and are fun, but they are a little less impactful as they are in the video (the magic of editing i guess). Agree with the call outs that there needs to be a basic color wheel option in the app and the timer interface needs a major overhaul, but i found it pretty easy to use. So far, we are on a rotation of only 3 or 4 'hues' but look forward to experimenting more when we have people over and are entertaining vs sitting on the couch watching TV.

    All in all, cool product, but still bummed i had to spend another $100 to replace what was a perfectly good wi-fi router without any mention of needing a new one.

    8 of 15 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Good not Great

    • Written by from Milton

    The concept of wifi-controlled lighting is amazing and the Philips Hue delivers. My issue is solely with the app. The timer functionality is poorly implemented. First off, they are not timers as they need to be reset/restarted EVERY SINGLE DAY. I want it to be setup once and be done with it. Let the system take care of itself. The timers I have created turn lights on and off and set the scene (such as a night light in my daughter's room); but it is useless, if I need re-enable them nightly. Additionally, timers are not (as far as I can tell) saved to the portal nor sync-ed to other controller apps. I suspect (but have no evidence) that the scenes are stored locally and when the SAVE button is pressed it is sync'ed across controllers. A central repository needs to be defined and self-managed (a la Sonos).

    Secondly, the picture-color selector is a neat gimmick, but it is just that; a gimmick. Give me a color wheel option as part of the "recipes".

    Thirdly, there is no indication that the iphone controller app is connected via the web portal or directly (other than the really bad lag). And there is no way to toggle between or retry wifi connection.Meaning, if I have fiddled with the app while outside of my home wifi, it switches itself to connect via the portal; once I return home, I need to kill the app to force it reconnect via wifi.

    Finally, the scenes view is a bit childish (I say that because my 6 year old loves to play with it). Eventually users want a screen that shows the lights (possibly grouped) with color and dimmer sliders.

    All these shortcomings are application-related and are easily fixed. Cheers to Philips for making my Christmas lighting really easy this year ;) One red, one green, one red...

    The only hardware problem that I see, is when the physical switch is turned off and on, the light reverts to regular light (rather than the last used lighting color strategy). I am okay with this, but would rather see an option in the app to control this behaviour. Case in point, you are on vacation and the power fails for a few moment; all the lights will be on until you return.

    13 of 14 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Nice but consider this . . .

    • Written by from Las Vegas

    - FIRST you need to consider how you'll use these bulbs. Your control is thru the app. Do you really want to have to grab your device every time you want to turn the light on? These are great for 'atmospheric' lights, but not utility lights. So then is it worth the price?
    - Setup in the house was easy, but I'm still having trouble connecting my bridge to my online account. 2 emails to Philips over 2 days have gotten no response yet.
    - The bulbs are nice and bright, just the amount I need.
    - The pick a color via photo is a bit gimmicky. I'd be fine with just a color wheel.
    - Color range is huge.
    - It took me a while to figure out a real easy way to create my own settings.
    - The price is a major factor. The price will have to come down before I start to add more lights.

    15 of 16 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Good for mood, not for light

    • Written by from New York

    These lights are pretty nifty, but at 600 lumens don't really throw off enough light for much. They are an expensive, innovative way of decorating with light, just don't expect it to be a great reading light.

    16 of 16 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Great but needs a bit more features

    • Written by from reseda

    Setup was quick and easy. Control is instant and the color and light output is great. The app takes a bit of learning, and is pretty basic right now. Looks like pairing of bulbs or areas together can only be done if you setup a preset that you program. Hard to figure out what bulb you are controlling outside of a preset, would be nice if you could just tap a bulb or bulbs then a preset, color or global control for them, as well as define pairs or groups ahead of time. My biggest disappointment is no way to set the default color and output when they are turned on with a switch, right now it resets and defaults to a very warm light. Would be awesome if you could program what setting they go to when powered on via switch, including an option for them to go to the last used. Other people in the house don't use an app to turn the lights on/off so when the switch is used it defaults back to the warm light and you have to power up the app and reset it back to what you want every time if a switch is used. Looking forward to some improvements in the control and what 3rd party developers come up with.

    74 of 81 people found this useful